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Monday, December 31, 2012

Grandma's Marathon, from the chair

One of my most favorite parts of watching Grandma's Marathon is to watch the athletes who compete from their chair. Yes, I do admire and salute all of the athletes, and it is those who compete from their wheelchairs that tug at me just a little more.  Here you see their strength and endurance from mile marker 21 - just 5 miles to the finish line.



Horseshoeing, a craft still alive from medieval times

The process of forging and attaching horseshoes became an important craft in medieval times.  Blacksmiths made most of the iron objects used in everyday life though farriery or horseshoeing, was the most frequent occupation.
The horse was a major means of transportation in the United States until the automobile was invented.  The horse population declined from 1910-1960, as they were replaced with cars.  However, in the early 1960's, the population increased as horse racing became popular as a means of recreation.  Over the last decade or so, the horse population has remained relatively stable.  The decline in horse racing due to the replacement of other forms of gambling has been offset by the increased popularity of pleasure riding and horse shows.  In addition, rodeos are still active and I had an opportunity to learn about this craft first hand from Todd Nelson, farrier.

Shoeing, when performed correctly, causes no pain to the animal. Farriers trim the insensitve part of the hoof, whis is the same area into which they drive the nails.  This is analogous to a manicure on a human fingernail, only on a much larger scale.

Before beginning to shoe, the farrier removes the old shoe using pincers and trims the hoof wall to the desired length with nippers.

The hoof is cleaned to allow proper fit of the shoe.

Shoes are then measured to the foot and bent to the correct shape using a hammer and anvil, and other modifications, such as taps for shoe studs. are added.


The farrier then nails the shoes on, by driving the nails into the hoof wall at the white line of the hoof.  The nails are shaped in such a way that they bend outward as they are driven in, avoiding the sensitive inner part of the foot, so they emerge on the sides of the hoof.  When the nail has been completely driven, the farrier cuts off the sharp points and uses a clincher  to bend the rest of the nail so it is almost flush with the hoof wall. This prevents the nail from getting caught on anything. but also helps to hold the nail in place.

The farrier then uses a rasp (large file) to smooth the edge where it meets the shoe and eliminate any sharp edges left from cutting off the nails.

This whole process of shoeing the horse at the Great Northern Classic Rodeo took less than 45 minutes.  Todd Nelson is very skilled at his craft and certainly has a connection to the horses that he works with.  Thank you Todd and Stacy Nelson of The Lazy N.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

2nd Annual Willie Kruger Dance Competition

The 2nd Annual Willie Kruger Dance Competition was held on November 18, 2012 at Grandma's Sports Garden, Canal Park, Duluth MN. It was an amateur open style competition of ages 12 and up. I didn't know quite what to expect and found how surprised I became at the amount of talent one room could hold. I also couldn't tell you the type of dances, except for the belly dancer.
What I can tell you, it was a night where young people could come and dance their dance to their hearts content and be able to do it in an environment of their peers, friends and some family members.  Free expression in dance.  Free expression from our youth.
Photographs and blog by Joni Tauzell




Globe News - A trip for collectibles, cards, comics and history

Globe News on the corner of Tower Ave and Belknap St. is your trip for collectibles, cards, comics, magazines, books and even some history.  Globe News is an icon in Superior.  It is the place to go if you want the unusual magazine without going across the bridge to Duluth; it is the place to go if you are looking for a long lost CD or for a comic book. 


And if you are looking for a fun history lesson, you can always spend a few moments with Tom Unterberger, owner of Globe News and a big bit of local historian. Here's Tom as he is visiting with customers. You will most likely find Tom, not in the front of the store, rather in the back room engaged in conversation with his customers, who by the way knows many of them by name.

Globe News has one of the largest selections of magazines.  As you first walk in, there is a long row of shelving for magazines on both sides and at the end of the row you will find more on the back wall.  Most are current, and some are dated. 
Spending time at Globe News was fun and interesting and on a day that was extremely busy for collectors. 
Sometimes if you are as lucky as I was, you get a chance to peek at some other items that are sure to take you back in time.
Next time you are in Superior, WI check out Globe News.  Enjoy the atmosphere and the staff and your trip back in time.  You will not be disappointed.  If you want the added bonus of a local history lesson, ask for Tom.






Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Graffiti Graveyard

Photos and Text by John D D'Auria

Graffiti Graveyard in some respects is a graveyard, but not the kind that the average person is used to. There are no headstones or plots, but there is a hidden gallery of Murals, Tags and Roll pieces done by graffiti artists that find this secluded place to be a peaceful place for their creativity to show their talents without being harassed or arrested for defacing the city's property.
Sooner or later some of  their art will die, not literally but it will fade or be covered up by a newcomer to the gallery that wants to leave his mark on the cement walls that lay beneath the freeway,  a rival artist that wants to tag over it just to deface it or someone that wants to update a piece to bring some freshness to the walls.

Graffiti artist creating a new piece of art work.

Sources say that Graffiti Graveyard basically was founded back in the mid 1980's because of a lot of vandalism going on in the city of Duluth, MN. A lot of artists were being arrested for defacing public buildings, skywalks, trains, and pretty much any smooth surface they could find that they thought someone would be able to appreciate their work on. The only problem was, the city officials and some of the taxpayers of the city of Duluth didn't appreciate the art, they felt it looked trashy and chased away the tourists, which took money away from the city. So in some people's opinion an unwritten compromise was established between the city of Duluth and the local artists that they would verbally be given this spot under the freeway that could not be seen from the citie's population unless they went searching for this hidden gallery. Apparently both sides have kept their word in this verbal agreement to some degree because there has been  less graffiti thrown up all over the city of Duluth in the last 30 years and a lot of residents and tourists seem to enjoy going to the gallery and experiencing the hidden talent that rests under thousands of vehicles that pass over it daily.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

UMD Alworth Planetarium

(Photo and text by H. Brian Rauvola)

What would environmental portraiture be without a challenge? I knew that this type of situation was going to be a bit difficult, but I knew just about what needed to be done to get a nice, solid, portrait that presented what the planetarium had to offer. This image ended up a composite of 3 images, one for the sky, one for the subject, and one for the wall posters under black light.

Our gracious subject is UMD senior and Planetarium Technician Steve Hendrickson. He is from Duluth and is majoring in History and German Studies. Thanks go to all of the guys and gal at the Planetarium for letting us invade for a couple of hours!